Colombia-1Colombia-2Colombia-3
Discover Colombia
A country of endless summer, emeralds, and coffee
Without exaggeration, Colombia is a unique country that has been able to preserve the mysteries and riddles of antiquity to this day

General information

Capital:

Population:

Official language:

Currency:

Territory:

Bogotá48 400 388SpanishPeso1 141 748 km²

County's geography and administrative division

Covering a fairly vast area in the northwest of the South American continent, Colombia has access to two oceans, the Pacific and Atlantic, with the Caribbean Sea as its waters. It borders Ecuador and Peru in the south, Venezuela and Brazil in the east, and Panama in the northwest. By the way, the equator line crosses Colombia in the south. That is why, in most of the country's territory, the equatorial and subequatorial climate dominates, making it in the literal sense "the country of eternal summer and the sun". However, it's quite easy to find coolness here, too, for example, in the Andes highlands.

As for the administrative and territorial division, Colombia consists of 32 departments, with elected governors and one metropolitan district. Those, in their turn, are divided into municipalities. The third level is that of provinces and subregions.

Map Colombia

What to see and where?

Bogota is both the capital and the largest city in Colombia. It is often called the city of extremes. Masterpieces of magnificent colonial architecture stand next to super modern skyscrapers and dirty huts. The narrow streets climbing the mountain slopes are equally indifferent to luxury cars and mule driven carts. It has many pocket thieves and drug dealers, but at the same time, Bogota amazes with the number of museums. It is a museum of gold and emerald, with the zest represented by a 265-carat crystal. Moreover, there are national, archaeological, religious art, maritime, numismatics displays. Besides, the city has several houses-museums of outstanding Colombians: Simon Bolivar and Gabriel Garcia Marquesa. People in Bogota treat their historical heritage very reverently. For example, if the owner of an ancient building preserves and maintains its original appearance, he is exempt from paying taxes. In 50 kilometers from the capital, you will find the unusual cathedral carved in salt rock. Its vault and walls covered with salt crystals create an absolutely fantastic atmosphere. The temple can accommodate up to ten thousand people at a time.

Medellín is a former mining village that today has grown to be the second-largest and most important city in Colombia. It is also called the "City of Eternal Spring" because of its comfortable climate, and the "Silver Bowl" because seven picturesque hills surround it. Medellin is always ready to offer its guests the most exciting things. There are beautifully preserved buildings from the colonial era — the Basílica de Nuestra Señora de Candelaria and the Metropolitan Cathedral, known as the largest bricked church in South America. The inhabitants are proud of the famous Botanical Garden with its unique collection of orchids and the 175-meter high needle-shaped tower, symbolizing the achievements of the textile industry. And of course, Medellin is known for being the place where Pablo Escobar had founded and had been ruling his bloody drug business for almost a quarter of a century. You can even see the slums where the drug lord ran his business. It is true that now the authorities are doing everything to make this page of history forgotten. The original system of escalators and the ropeway made life much easier for slum residents glued to the mountain slopes. Schools, libraries and theatres have been opened here — the interests of young people have gradually shifted from wars between groups to sports.

Cartagena is a port city on the shores of the Caribbean Sea, also known as "Latin American Venice". The date of its foundation is considered 1532, when during the "gold rush", it was through its port that gold and gems were exported to Europe. At that time, these waters were dominated by the Flibustiers. That's why Cartagena is an extremely fortified city. The walls of one of the local fortresses are 12 meters thick. The Palace of Inquisition, with its exposition of instruments of torture, and Las Bovedas prison, which now houses a shopping center, are well preserved. And the former convent of Cartagena now houses a history museum. The Rosario and San Bernardo Corals National Natural Park is 40 kilometers away from the city, where tourists can see picturesque beaches and the only underwater park in the country. For scuba enthusiasts, the island of Baro has become a real magnet, with its diving center and a beautiful coral garden. 

Cali has been an unremarkable quiet town for quite a long time. But nowadays, it is the third-largest metropolis in the country, dynamically developing due to coffee and sugar production. And Cali is also called the "capital of salsa", the most popular Latin American dance. You can watch its performance, or even take a couple of lessons in the numerous salsa-halls. And if you're lucky, you can get to the annual festival, where the best city dance schools are presented. The handmade monuments of the city are also worth seeing. First of all, these are the temples of the XVI century and numerous ancient hacienda mansions. It is also worth visiting Cerro de Las Tres Cruces, which offers a stunning view of the city. And on Easter, it becomes a traditional pilgrimage site.

Popayán. Due to the abundance of perfectly preserved mansions painted in light colors, Popayan is often called the "white city". It has managed, better than many others, to keep the appearance of the colonial period as if it had stopped the running of time. And now visitors of the city can admire the many ancient churches - Iglesia de Santo Domingo, Iglesia de San Francisco, Iglesia de La Ermita, and the Convento de San Agustín. This city is also home to one of the oldest universities in the country, founded in 1827. You should also visit the museums, including the natural history, colonial and religious art, as well as the museum devoted to the poet Guillermo Valencia.

Barranquilla is the sea and air gate of the country. Port city and the cradle of Colombian aviation. This is where the first airport in South America appeared, and the famous Colombian coffee begins its journey around the world from the seaport. But the real hallmark of the city is the world-famous carnival El Joselito. It is held four days before the Great Lent. At this time, Barranquilla attracts a huge number of Colombians and tourists from all over the planet. After all, this carnival is called one of the most spectacular events on the planet, not worse than the famous festival in Rio de Janeiro. By the way, there is a lifetime monument to Shakira, because the famous singer is from Barranquilla.

Things to consider while going to Colombia

  • For many people, Colombia does not have a reputation of a safe and quiet country. And indeed, it was ten years ago. But nowadays, the situation is starting to change for the better. The greatest danger on the streets of megacities is pickpockets. Besides, you should order a taxi from official and licensed companies.
  • When going to Colombia, it is recommended to be immunized against hepatitis, tetanus, cholera, typhoid, and measles. Tap water, although disinfected with chlorine, should not be consumed. It is safer to drink bottled water.
  • It is vital to remember that Colombia is located in the seismically-active zone (there are 15 large volcanoes in the country), but experts always warn in advance about possible impulses or eruptions. In the rainy season, flooding and landslides are possible.
  • Drugs are widespread in the country, so it is better not to take drinks or cigarettes from strangers, as they may contain drug-containing substances. Or the so-called "borrachero" is a sedative to put a potential victim to sleep.
  • Another trouble may await those who decide to hike in a remote area. We are talking about mines. In Colombia, the legacy of a long, armed confrontation is still a great danger. It is, therefore, worth consulting with locals before going out on your own to non-tourist areas.
  • There are many poisonous creatures and shark species in the waters near the coast of Colombia, so it is safer to swim only in designated locations. And scuba diving is a must but only in protective wetsuits. One should always remember about the powerful currents, strong high and low tides on the Pacific coast.

The best time to visit Colombia

The proximity to the equator has a significant impact on Colombia's climate. It changes depending on height changes: if there is an eternal spring in Bogota, then there is a hot summer in Cartagena. On the coast of the Caribbean Sea, the climate is hot and tropical, while closer to the Amazon, it is too hot and damp. Based on tourist seasons, it is worth going to Colombia either from December to April, in the dry season, or in July and August. However, even during the dry season, there is quite a lot of precipitation.

Hotels in Colombia

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